Hack A $30 Coffee Table Into A Sit-Down Arcade Cabinet

Hack A $30 Coffee Table Into A Sit-Down Arcade Cabinet

Yesterday, we showed you how to build a render farm out of an IKEA cabinet. Now we bring you the hardcore gamer equivalent: a sit-down arcade machine made out of an IKEA coffee table and a Rasberry Pi computer.

Manny Flores at IKEA Hackers built his retro arcade system out of a Raspberry Pi computer, a Happ arcade joystick and buttons, a Dell LCD monitor, a Logitech MK260 keyboard and mouse, some cheap speakers and i-Pac keyboard encode by Ultimarc.

Here’s Manny on how he constructed his DIY machine:

The Lack table is easily hacked by cutting it’s hollow core material using a utility knife. I outlined the shape of the LCD monitor and carefully cut out the hole. Next I cut out the holes for the joystick, buttons, and control board area. (I used a 1 1/8″ hole cutter to score the shape of the holes and then finished the cut with a utility knife.)
[clear]  [clear]
The RPi runs a version of Linux. I hacked together a simple front-end for selecting the games in Python using some sample code I found on pygame.org. For the games, I used a version of advmame compiled for the RPi. Sound is provided by a pair of cheap speakers hidden by a small enclosure I made that is glued to the bottom of the table. It also has a wireless keyboard and mouse for programming and configuration.[clear]   [clear] In it’s final form, the table is completely controlled by the joystick and buttons so the keyboard is only used occasionally for fine tuning.

You can find out more details on how the system was built and also see some construction photos over at IKEA Hackers.


    • You never played real aracde games did you? They are multi player. They have one joystick. You take turns.

      • .. So no pacman 2v2 king of the kill ultimate deathmatch 2fort 4chan #domination game mode?

        How did people even have fun in the 1920’s with games like that.

  • The cocktail arcade concept had two players, and rotated the screen 180 degrees based on which players turn it was. Cool hack nonetheless, but that’s probably why the two player comment came up.

  • Yeah I was hoping for the classic design of 2 players facing each other, that will be the next step for this hack. This is awesome though will definitely keep this in mind for my next home improvement project!

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